Posted by Mark Smith on May 13, 2000 at 00:48:09:
From the New York Law Journal, Monday, May 15th:
Reversing himself, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Ira Gammerman will allow injunctive relief to be sought by Manhattan tenants who are hoping to avoid a rent increase when their landlord opts out of a Mitchell-Lama agreement, a deal that helped developers build and then rent certain apartments at below market cost. The relief could mean a freezing of rents, allowing the modest income tenants to stay in the building, the judge said, as opposed to his earlier decision that limited an award to damages, which could have meant the tenants had to vacate and then possibly be refunded rents at a later date.
MY NOTE: This is one of several cases, involving Mitchell-Lama developments, that are working their way through administrative agencies and the courts. Some cases involve deed restrictions, which may delay a buyout for years. Other cases involve what rents landlords can charge when a development built before 1974 leaves the Mitchell-Lama program and becomes rent stabilzed.
Injunctive relief is an absolute necessity in this case. Where would many tenants live if their rents were raised to four or five times their current rent? Suing for damages after the fact would be a relatively meaningless remedy.
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